St. George’s University Grad Goes On-Air to Set the Medical Record Straight

St. George’s University preps its graduates for a fulfilling medical career – and then some. Take 1983 St. George’s grad Dr. Bruce Bonanno, who recalls one anxious patient after another, all with unfounded health concerns that were delivered by the same menacing culprit: television.

That was the inspiration he needed to launch his “other” career as a medical broadcast journalist.

“Being in the Caribbean and away from home, many of us were reading American newspapers to keep informed, and there was such a rumor mill of false information,” Bonanno recalls. “News reports on TV and in the papers aren’t always telling the true story. Often, a reporter takes from a story what they think is the most important, but twists the message.”

Still, Bonanno’s primary job is a practicing physician with a medical degree from St. George’s University in Grenada, West Indies. After its founding as an independent medical school in 1977, the University focused on preparing students such as Bonanno to meet the health care needs of people all over the world. Today, St. George’s University is known as a “mini UN” because its students and faculty hail from 90 countries worldwide. Plus:

  • St. George’s students routinely score as well – or better than – U.S/U.K counterparts on national exams that determine eligibility to practice medicine.
  • 99 percent of St. George’s eligible U.S. medical school grads obtain the residency of their choice in the United States.
  • About 25 percent of the University’s medical grads are named Chief Resident during their residencies.
  • SGU School of Medicine grads have practiced in virtually every specialty and sub-specialty across the United States and in 40 worldwide.

So how did Bonanno gain his media cred? He sharpened his chops with a non-paying slot as a medical consultant at News12 New Jersey.

It all paid off, because today, ten years after-the-fact, he’s the consultant and host of To Your Health, a 30-minute television newsmagazine that reaches 8.4 million households each month.

But Bonanno hasn’t neglected his emergency-room calling. For the past 21 years, he’s worked in various hospitals in New Jersey, New York,  Pennsylvania – and even on a cruise ship. In addition, he works with the Emergency Medical Associates (EMA) as an emergency doctor at New Jersey’s Bayshore Community Hospital, with an ER that serves more than 30,000 patients each year.

Bonanno’s “second career” has landed him another honor. By blending day-to-day medical knowledge and newfound media-savvy, he was recently elected to the board of directors of the National Association of Medical Communicators (NAMC), a group that supports medical journalists and communicators who provide information to consumers.

St. George’s University School of Medicine, Grenada, West Indies, incorporates best global teaching practices, with clinical placements in top teaching hospitals and combined degrees in research, allied sciences, and public health. We have an international community and more than 6,200 graduates practicing in 40 nations worldwide.

Published 11/29/2006

St. George’s University Announces the Commonwealth-Grenada St. George’s University Scholarship Program (CGSG)

GU is thrilled to further its commitment to education and the developing world through its highly anticipated scholarship program. The Commonwealth-Grenada St. George’s University Scholarship Program will be implemented on January 17, 2007 – the date of the founding of the University 30 years ago. The University will begin to accept applications on this date.

The administration is proud to offer 75 full tuition scholarships over the next few years to qualified students from Commonwealth countries, with preference to students from developing countries and small states. The Commonwealth of Nations is a voluntary association of 53 countries, the majority of which are former colonies of the United Kingdom.

The Commonwealth represents almost a third of the world’s countries. It is primarily an organization in which countries with diverse economic backgrounds have an opportunity for close and equal interaction. Its primary activities are to create an atmosphere of economic co-operation between member nations, as well as promote democracy, human rights and good governance in those nations.

Five scholarship programs – public health, business, medicine, veterinary medicine, and undergraduate degrees in arts and sciences – have been created under the umbrella of the Commonwealth-Grenada St. George’s University Scholarship Program. They will benefit both graduate and undergraduate students who demonstrate academic excellence, financial need and a commitment to their chosen discipline. These scholarship awards will mainly be granted to students from developing countries where the need for trained professionals is great.

A Commonwealth-Grenada St. George’s University Scholarship Committee has been established by the University to award the scholarships. While the $4 million (USD) program will fully fund tuition, students will require separate support for living and traveling expenses. The University will work with the Commonwealth Association to identify businesses and institutions in Commonwealth countries who will sponsor students in return for a promise of serving upon graduation.

Distribution of scholarships is as follows:

Master in Public Health
25 dedicated students will be selected, with special emphasis given to those who will dedicate their professional skills to the public health problems of their home countries. Public health issues in the developing world often involve large scale infectious diseases, which have been almost eradicated in the developed world. In addition, the developing world needs public health professionals dedicated to addressing the health inequalities engendered by the social determinants of health. Poverty, with its attendant problems in inadequate education, health care, sanitation and social support, is at the core of health issues in developing nations. The CGSG scholarships are designed to help battle healthcare through public health.

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
The 10 CGSG scholarships in veterinary medicine are designed to provide veterinary surgeons for Commonwealth countries in need of more veterinary medical professionals. These veterinary surgeons may be trained to care for wildlife, large animals, herd animals or exotic animals. It is to be expected that they will be imbued with the concept of One Medicine and educated in ways to deal with the transfer of disease between man and animals, which cross international borders on a major scale, causing epidemics of zoonotic diseases.

Doctor of Medicine
The five scholarships in medicine will provide well-trained doctors to enhance health- care delivery in developing nations. This program is designed to stem the “brain drain” from developing to developed countries by training qualified medical doctors who will return home to practice medicine after being immersed in medicine as it is practiced and taught in the Caribbean, the United States and the United Kingdom. These doctors will be well equipped not only to help individual patients, but to contribute to their nation’s healthcare delivery systems as a whole.

Master of Business Administration
The 25 CGSG scholarships in business administration will deliver trained managers who will be able to help developing countries build effective infrastructures in business, industry and government. With an emphasis in the curriculum on international business and entrepreneurial skills and a concentration on public sector management and hotel/tourism management, the MBA degree holders will be well qualified to contribute to the economic development of their countries.

Undergraduate Degrees
The 10 CGSG scholarships in the School of Arts and Sciences are designed to train professionals in a variety of professions that will enhance the business and educational infrastructure of Commonwealth countries, especially developing nations. Degree programs are offered in international business, management information technology, life sciences, and liberal arts.

SGU will maintain strict adherence to its admission requirements which can be found on our website. Admission and scholarship application forms are also available through the website. Applicants will have up to April 15, 2007 to submit applications for the August 2007 class. The deadline for the January 2008 class is September 15, 2007.

Published on 11/10/2006

New Class of Medical Students Take Oath at White Coat Ceremony

St. George’s University School of Medicine officially welcomed a new class of medical students on August 21, 2006, at the White Coat Ceremony. The proud and eager students received warm welcomes and words of wisdom from many at SGU as well as this year’s keynote speaker, Dr. David Muller, Dean of Medical Education at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.

Student Given White Coat 2006361 students from 29 different countries around the world gathered at Grenada’s Convention Center with white coats in hand. During the ceremony the students were clothed in their coats by medical professionals and they took a professional oath, promising to act with integrity and in an ethical manner during their training and careers in medicine. The White Coat Ceremony marks their official entry into medicine.

Chancellor Charles R. Modica welcomed the students to St. George’s and wished them well as they begin a “great and noble career.” He pointed out that the path they have chosen “carries with it a profound obligation of service to others.”
The SGU alumni Master of Ceremonies was Francis McGill, MD, SGU ’81, Associate Dean of Clinical Studies, US, at SGU.

During his keynote address, Dr. Muller urged the students to remember what it was that attracted them to the profession of medicine. He cautioned that there would be many distractions along the way, that one of the occupational hazards of being a physician, ironically, is becoming inured to the needs of the patient. A physician must always remember the patient’s humanity and respond to the totality of his or her needs, as well as those of the family. Patient care must be kept foremost in each physician’s mind and practice. (For the full version of Dr. Muller’s keynote address, please click here)

Dr. Muller, MD, received a BA from Johns Hopkins University and an MD from New York University School of Medicine. He completed his Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine at the Mount Sinai Medical Center, where he spent an additional as Chief Resident. Upon completing his training, Dr. Muller co-founded and directed the Mount Sinai Visiting Doctors Program, which is now the largest academic physician home visiting program in the country. In May 2005 he was appointed Dean for Medical Education.
Students Reading at White Coat Ceremony 2006Dr. Muller’s recent honors include the Department of Medicine’s Ruth Abramson Humanism in Medicine Award in 2005, induction into the Gold Humanism Honor Society in 2004, and the Casita Maria Community Builder Award in 2002. Dr. Muller is Associate Professor of Medicine and Medical Education and is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine.

Following the Keynote Address, the medical students took their oath of professional commitment, promising to be responsible, professional, ethical, and honorable during their careers as physicians. Afterwards, a reception was held for the students and their families.

Published on 08/25/2006

The 9th Annual Prague Selective Comes to a Successful Close

The 9th Annual Prague Selective came to a close on July 28, 2006, and the 120 first- and second-year medical students from around the world returned home from the Czech Republic. These students studied medicine for three weeks in Prague – gaining a unique clinical experience in this beautiful eastern European city.

This popular clinical Selective, an SGUSOM course registered with the International Health Medical Education Consortium, has become the largest of its kind in the world.



Its founder and dedicated director is Martin Stransky, MD, SGU ’83, who began the Selective with the goal of enhancing and broadening the thinking process of future physicians at a crucial stage in their training. Entitled “Introduction and Exploration of Issues in Clinical Medicine,” the Selective, according to Dr. Stransky “should not be approached as a third year clinical experience, but rather as a cultural, ethical, and educational experience.”

Instructed by 40 local faculty members and physicians, the students spend mornings rotating in clinics and hospitals, where they are able to scrub into surgeries and see first hand the way hospitals operate in a different country. In the afternoon, the students attend academic seminars conducted by medical professionals; these seminars are structured to allow the students to learn how to think about cases and medicine in general.

One of this year’s highlights was an afternoon session with the American Ambassador to the Czech Republic, William J. Cabaniss. At the end of the course, the students take an exam, and, upon successful completion, they receive credits on their medical transcripts.

Half of the 120 students were from St. George’s University. Others came from as far away as Tasmania. Many were from US medical schools, including SUNY Upstate, SUNY Downstate, SUNY Buffalo, University of California at San Diego, and Dartmouth. There were students from Puerto Rico and Canada as well.

“We had a huge amount of press coverage this year, more so than in previous years,” Dr. Stransky said. “The program is growing so much each year that we’re planning on expanding it to other cities in the Czech Republic next year. We had more than 100 people on the waiting list.”

The Prague Daily Monitor wrote a story on the Selective.

“Word of mouth and recommendations is what has made the Prague Selective so popular,” Dr. Stransky said. “Feedback from students has been positive over the years and this is what makes the program so successful.”

For more information on the Prague Selective, visit and for more information on Dr. Martin Stransky, and to contact him, visit

Published on 08/15/2006

Commencement Ceremony Celebrates “One Medicine” for the 21st Century

St. George’s University’s School of Medicine and School of Veterinary Medicine held its Annual Commencement Ceremony on June 17, 2006, at Radio City Music Hall in New York City – a first at this grand NYC landmark. More than 450 medical students and 65 vet students proudly received their diplomas in front of an audience of more than 4,000 family members, friends, faculty, and administration.

Commencement Radio City Music HallChancellor Charles R. Modica congratulated the graduates for their hard work and determination and urged them to make a positive difference in the world as they continue their medical careers. “Your hard work has earned you a degree that is not an end in itself, but the beginning of a journey of service,” Chancellor Modica said. “In your professional and personal lives I urge you to choose wisely and, like this evening’s special honorees, always remember your duty to others.”
He also proudly welcomed them as SGU alumnus, welcoming them to the community of over 6,400 graduates working all over the world.

The commencement address was delivered by Richard Halliwell, MA VetMB, PhD, MRCVS. Dr. Halliwell not only congratulated the graduates, he paid tribute to the family and friends of the graduates who supported them all along. He also honored the students and the SGU administration for their spirit and determination in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan in 2004. “There was an absolute commitment and determination to overcome the serious setback,” he said. “And, of course, you succeeded. The true spirit of St. George’s was never more evident than at that traumatic time.”

To view Dr. Halliwell’s speech in its entirety, please click here.

Commencement Students WalkingDr. Halliwell urged the graduates, medical and vet, to work together as one during their careers, drawing many parallels between medicine and veterinary medicine. He cited the emergence of SARS, mad cow disease, and avian flu as just a few of the fields necessary for cooperation between doctors and veterinarians. Stressing the importance of cooperation and working towards the One Medicine concept, he said that “the past two decades have witnessed the emergence of serious diseases that continue to challenge both our professions” and that “…both professions are devoted primarily – either directly or indirectly, at the betterment of human health.”

Following Dr. Halliwell’s address, Chancellor Modica presented a Distinguished Service Award to Lord Soulsby of Swaffham Prior for his commitment and work on behalf of SGU. Lord Soulsby’s career in veterinary medicine is a notable one – from teaching at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine to serving as president of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons – and a whole host of distinguished academic and legislative endeavors and honors in between. He serves on the Board of Trustees of WINDREF (UK) and has been a friend of SGU for many years. Lord Soulsby gave the inaugural address for the first class of SGU’s School of Veterinary Medicine in 1999. His help and support has been invaluable for the University. He is a true friend, and we are grateful for his friendship.

Charles Modica Speaking at CommencementThe Chancellor also presented Dr. Orazio Giliberti (SGUSOM ’83) and Dr. Cheryl Fite (SGUSVM ’03) with the Distinguished Alumni Service Award. The award is given annually to SGU graduates who have performed exemplary service to their communities since they graduated.

Honor cords were worn by students who are members of an honor society – Iota Epsilon Alpha in the School of Medicine and Phi Zeta in the School of Veterinary Medicine – and they signify excellence in academics during their years as medical students.

After the students stated their academic oaths and the degrees were conferred by Chancellor Modica, the new doctors filed out of Radio City Music Hall with hopes and aspirations of a bright future in medicine.

Published on 08/08/2006

Trinidad and Tobago’s Medical Board Visit to St. George’s University a Success

After a three day comprehensive visit to St. George’s University in April, the Medical Board of Trinidad and Tobago (MBTT) now considers SGU a Traditional Medical School. After the visit, the MBTT met on June 7, 2006, and officially changed SGU’s status, making it easier and smoother for Trinidad and Tobago students at SGU to transition back to their home and practice medicine with full registration.

Over the past few years, more and more nationals from Trinidad and Tobago have been granted scholarships to SGU and will be applying for registration after graduation to work in their home country. The MBTT felt it was necessary to assess SGU to see for themselves the standards that exist there.

Campus Shot with Trinidad Quote

Following the visit, the MBTT sent a 48 page report to the Ministry of Health in Trinidad and Tobago and copied SGU. In the cover letter of this report, it states:

HENCEFORTH, St. George’s University School of Medicine will now be considered a Traditional Medical School by our organization. As a result, graduates of St. George’s University will now be entitled to automatic Provisional Registration. If such an applicant desires further registration beyond the internship period, then such an applicant will be entitled to three years of Temporary Registration, before the consideration of Full Registration.”

During the visit, members from MBTT Review Team met with all the departments at SGU and at Kingstown Medical College in St. Vincent’s and were able to conduct a thorough assessment of the school. Mr. Robert Ryan, Associate Dean of Enrolment Planning for Admissions at SGU, Ms. Laurie Hinrichs, Director of International Admissions at SGU, and Mr. Colin Dowe, Assistant Dean of Enrolment Planning for Caribbean Admissions at SGU, were instrumental in organizing the visit and making it the success it was.

In the Final Comments and Conclusion of the report, it states:

“From the Review Team’s Report above, one can clearly see that we were very pleased indeed with what we saw, and with what we learned of the SGU. The Review Team was unanimous in their satisfaction with the School. The Team commends the SGUSOM for providing our young men and women in the Caribbean and elsewhere with a quality Medical Education that emphasizes excellence in academia as well as in professionalism. The School has been very responsible in establishing and maintaining a balance between its student intake and the level of available resources and teaching man-power.”

Published on 08/01/2006

St. George’s University’s First Annual Gold Humanism Honor Society Awards Ceremony

St. George’s University held its first Gold Humanism Honor Society Awards Ceremony on June 16, 2006, at Le Parker Meridien Hotel in New York City. Thirteen SGU medical students received the award, recognizing their humanistic and altruistic efforts during medical education.

Dr. C.V. Rao, Dean of Students at SGU

Dr. C.V. Rao,
Dean of Students at SGU

The honorees and their families and friends were welcomed to the awards ceremony by Dr. John J. Cush, an SGU graduate and a member of the SGU Board of Trustees, who helped promote SGU’s development of a local chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society. Dr. C.V. Rao, Dean of Students at SGU, addressed the students and congratulated them on their philanthropic achievements and desire to “go the extra mile”. The keynote speakers that evening were Sandra O. Gold, EdD, and Arnold P. Gold, MD, the founders of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. School of Medicine Dean, Dr. Stephen Weitzman, also congratulated the honorees and encouraged them to continue their extraordinary efforts in helping others as they become doctors.

This year’s honorees are:

    • Megan Auchenbach
    • Greg Cugini
    • Rahim Govani
    • Ashika Jain
    • Linda Jasperse
    • Noreen Kamalwe
    • Michael Markos
    • Peter Prieto
    • Anita Sircar
    • Salima Thobani
    • Sanjay Upadhyay
    • Stanley Wu
    • Jennifer Wu

The Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) was established in 2002 by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation to foster and acknowledge humanism among medical students. The GHHS has been established at 47 US medical schools and three international medical schools since its inception. St. George’s University became one of the three in 2005.

The award is given to medical students who demonstrate humanistic characteristics during their time in medical school, including positive mentoring skills, community service, compassion, sensitivity, collaboration, and observance of professional ethics. The students must be dependable and trustworthy, exhibit exemplary patient care, and show devotion to the community and the underprivileged.

“This award is a terrific way to reward, in a non-monetary and non-academic way, the efforts of those students who have given their personal time, money, resources and efforts to benefit others while in Grenada, St. Vincent’s, or during their clinical rotations,” said Dr. Cush. “Our 13 students found the time and the will to work to benefit others as they maintained their academic excellence. We want them to know they are appreciated and that SGU is a university that places a premium on humanism in medicine seriously and we want to foster these ideals in our students.”

Students were nominated for the award by their peers, faculty, or by themselves. The list was then presented to an awards committee made up of a diverse group of SGUSOM faculty and administrators.

Published on 06/26/2006


Joseph Lauro Receives 2006 Society of Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) Emergency Medicine Award

St. George’s University Scsool of Medicine is pleased to announce that Joseph Lauro is the recipient of the 2006 Society of Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) Excellence in Emergency Medicine Award. Dr. Lauro, who matched at the EM residency at SUNY Upstate (Syracuse), was a paramedic for FDNY, having responded to the World Trade Center disaster on September, 11, 2001.

“There were several fine candidates for this award and selecting just one was most difficult this year,” said Dr. John F. Madden, Associate Dean of Students (US) at SGU. “But I chose Joe based on his CV and his personal statement.”

“It is rewarding to be chosen for this award” Dr. Lauro said. “It is like a pat on the back for a job well done, which is a very infrequent occurrence in medicine. I have been dedicated to emergency medicine for a while now and I feel that this dedication enabled me to earn the award.” Before Dr. Lauro started his medical studies at SGU in 2002, he was a paramedic for FDNY. He was among the many brave heroes that responded to the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th, treating victims of the disaster.

Dr. Lauro said he had a “wonderful experience” at SGU and in Grenada and that he would “do it all over again” if he could. “It was as much a cultural experience as it was an educational experience,” he said. “Meeting people from so many different places who came together to study medicine was amazing. We all had to adapt to a different way of life in Grenada. It was a far cry from Staten Island.”

Dr. Lauro studied hard and earned good grades at SGU. He matched at his first choice, SUNY Upstate (Syracuse) in Emergency Medicine and is beginning his residency on June 26, 2006. Winning the SAEM award was encouraging for this new doctor as he embarks on the next phase of his medical training.

The award includes a one-year membership in SAEM as well as a certificate and a subscription to the journal Academic Emergency Medicine. St. George’s University is the only non-US medical school that participates annually in the granting of the SAEM award. Each medical school selects one student who has demonstrated excellence in the EM field.

Prior SGU recipients of the award are:

John (Matt) Sasser – 2005
Kevin O’Toole – 2004
Lisa Keough – 2003
Herald Ostovar – 2002
Marc Milano – 2001

“My congratulations to Joe for this award,” said C.V. Rao, Ph.D., Dean of Students at SGU. “He deserves this recognition. He is an example of the many wonderful students we have here at SGU.”

Published on 06/14/2006

Taught in Grenada, Now Teaching at Yale: A Proud St. George’s Graduate

Dr. Peter Barrett’s dream of becoming a doctor was triggered by The Making of a Surgeon, a book he read when he was ten years old. He discovered that he was fascinated by the idea of treating people to make them better, and that he was in particular drawn to surgery, because it offered immediate results. He found his life’s calling at St. George’s University in Grenada, and now teaches young people, with their own dreams, at Yale, where he is assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgery and medical director of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Intensive Care Unit (CT SICU).

In 1981, he enrolled in St. George’s University’s School of Medicine during the school’s early years. “The University was a work in progress,” Dr. Barrett recalled. “I followed several of my college classmates who had enrolled there. Everyone was very talented; and worked hard every day — they clearly wanted to be in medicine. It was a very positive experience.”

After graduating in 1985, Dr. Barrett completed a residency in general surgery at Morristown Memorial Hospital in New Jersey, and a second residency in cardiothoracic surgery at Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut. He followed with a fellowship in cardiopulmonary transplantation at Yale University, and also attained a master’s degree in health care management from Harvard University. In the mid-1990s, Dr. Barrett worked in private practice in adult cardiothoracic surgery in Pennsylvania, and, subsequently, in Michigan. It was while he was in Michigan that Yale recruited him to return to Connecticut to work in the CT SICU.

For these past four years, Dr. Barrett has cared for patients in the department of surgery, and taught others how to do the same. He teaches cardiothoracic surgical procedures to residents and medical students, and specializes in thoracic oncology, lung cancer, esophageal surgery, left ventricular assist devices, and surgery for the failing ventricle. Dr. Barrett is responsible for the organization, implementation, and supervision of preoperative and postoperative care in the CT SICU, which is one of the busiest cardiothoracic surgery units in the country.

Dr. Barrett is enthusiastic about what he is doing. “I like taking care of heart patients and being by their bedside,” he said. “I also enjoy teaching. There is no substitute for experience, and I want to pass that on to others.”

He lauds the education he received at St. George’s as the right stepping-stone to his future. “I’m proud I attended the University. It’s truly an international university, with all those people coming together, from Eastern Europe and the States and Africa,” said Dr. Barrett. “Let’s face it, medical school is a rigorous ordeal. And at other schools, learning about other cultures and other lands is not something you are normally exposed to. It’s wonderful.”

Thirty Years of Growth

When Dr. Barrett began studying at St. George’s, it was a small, independent school of medicine. In the intervening years, the institution has grown to a full university, adding schools of veterinary medicine, and the arts and sciences, as well as offering advanced degrees in allied health sciences and public health. Like Dr. Barrett and his medical colleagues, newer graduates are excelling at qualifying examinations, with scores that surpass those from US schools. They enhance health care wherever they practice, Dr. Barrett recognizes. “The university has produced wonderful physicians and embraced the world’s communities, providing opportunity and scholarships,” he said. “They’ve done great things.”

The physical footprint of St. George’s has grown correspondingly, into a two-level university-city of 42 acres, overlooking the Caribbean Sea. The university has forged alliances and affiliations with over 70 top clinical teaching centers and universities across the United States, Canada, and Europe. Its enduring commitment to academic excellence and student success, and its innovative approach to education is hailed by scholars and scientists, and embodied in its rallying cry: “Think Beyond.”

Fifty-Five Hundred Grads Practicing…Everywhere

Like Dr. Barrett, who now guides students at one of the top universities in the United States, graduates from St. George’s University School of Medicine are remaking the face of medicine across the world, excelling in their respective fields, and practicing with commitment and expertise. For more information on how to join them, visit

Published on 04/28/2006

Caribbean Accreditation Authority in Medicine

Medical schools in the Caribbean that reach the highest standard in the education of future doctors will soon be accredited by a new official body – the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health Professions (CAAM).

Established in 2004 by the the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Caribbean Accreditation Authority was set up to ensure that medical schools in participating countries in the Caribbean are providing a medical education that meets accepted international standards.

Although this body may well have been formed anyway, undoubtedly the impetus behind its establishment at this time was the changes introduced by the General Medical Council (GMC) in the United Kingdom. The University of the West Indies (UWI) School of Medicine was established at Mona, Jamaica in 1948 as a College of the University of London and in the late 1940s and its graduates were recognized by the GMC for full registration upon graduation, i.e., the degree was regarded as equivalent with a medical degree granted by a UK medical school. In 2003, the GMC stopped the practice of granting full registration to graduates of medical schools outside the European Union; therefore, UWI lost its recognition of its medical program.

To fill this void, medical schools in the region sought to establish an accreditation authority within the Caribbean.

The CAAM membership, approved by the CARICOM Heads of Government, comprises three medical doctors from medical educational institutions within the Caribbean; a dentist; a veterinarian; two medical students from within the Caribbean; two persons from international accreditation bodies; representatives of civil society; and three chief medical officers from within the Caribbean. Dean Emeritus Paddy Ross of SGU was appointed by CARICOM as one of the three doctors of medicine for an initial three-year term. The two international members are Sir Graeme Catto, President of the GMC, and Dr. David Hawkins, Executive Director of the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada and a member of the LCME.

The standards that will be used in reviewing medical schools within the Caribbean are based on the documentation used by the LCME in accrediting medical schools in the US. Accreditation will be of the medical program of an institution and not of the institution itself.

The University of the West Indies has submitted the appropriate data base and is in the process of being inspected and assessed by a CAAM team. The University of Guyana will be inspected later in 2006 and SGUSOM shortly after that.